Designing Virtual Organizations for Citizen Science

Designing Virtual Organizations for Citizen Science

Designing Virtual Organizations for Citizen Science A. Wiggins & K. Crowston IFIP 8.2 OASIS workshop 15 December, 2009 Motivation Problem: The Tyranny of Scale in scientific research

Geographic scale Temporal scale Data scale Solution: Redesigning scientific work eScience: leverages ICTs to overcome challenges Citizen Science: harnesses public interest to enable and extend research Context

Citizen Science Scientific research that includes nonscientists as active contributors Often has educational or civic goals in addition to scientific goals Diverse range of intellectual domains, wide variety of modes of participation Usually a type of virtual organization Conceptual Framework

Multi-level: distinct but interrelated individual and organizational factors IMOI model: outputs become inputs Contextually aware Scientific processes and goals Explicitly assuming involvement of professional scientists in project design and development Participant processes and goals

Initial Model Inputs Individual Demographics Skills Motivations Organizational Task design

Organizational design Technology design Moderators Processes Individual: Joining, contributing Organizational: Scientific research, volunteer management, data management Emergent States

Individual: Commitment, roles Organizational: Sustainability, community Outputs Individual Contributions Satisfaction Learning Organizational

Knowledge Communication Innovation Issues Heterogeneity and scope From stardust to bumblebees From a handful to a horde Participation is like

Crowdsourcing Layered individual work Small group interactions Networks of practice

Social movements Future Work Develop typology of citizen science projects, guided by this framework Validate and revise iteratively In-depth case studies Examine experience design of contributors participation to optimize for:

Scientifically valuable outcomes Participant benefit and learning Project sustainability Thanks! Questions? voss.syr.edu

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